Cash for Peers

The Times in London broke a story over the weekend that peers in the House of Lords were allegedly “offered to change the law in return for fees of up to £120,000”. 

BARON TRUSCOTT of St James’s took a bite of his teacake before explaining to the two lobbyists in front of him just how much it would cost to hire a peer of the realm.

Truscott — a former Labour MEP who was a government minister until 18 months ago — made it clear he had exactly the right credentials.

In the course of their short tea-time conversation he agreed to help them amend a government bill that was harmful to their client, in return for cash.

And from various articles I have been reading online, it seems that the only punishment that will be levied if they are found guilty? A public apology and the loss of the 350 GBP daily allowance. I actually think that they should serve time.

Now – let’s hope that this sort of thing does not happen here in Australia.


10 Responses

  1. It is called political donations here I believe.

    I would not be surprised if the backroom boys have benefited from this practise either!

  2. The most corrupt would have to be the county councils.

  3. Ahh! My favourite subject – The Robber Barons! 😉

  4. Always a risky business. Sometimes the money gets paid in advance to a Member who simply lacks the power to deliver. Here in Queensland we had Premier Joh who could be bought and could, and did, deliver.

    We are about to have a trial of a former Minister who accepted significant monies but from the way I read it didn’t deliver because it was beyond his power.

    BTW, it’s how politics in the US works.

    Nevertheless, there is never black and white in these matters. Lots of grey areas.

  5. We are about to have a trial of a former Minister who accepted significant monies but from the way I read it didn’t deliver because it was beyond his power. Nature 5, on January 27th, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    Now, now, innocent until proven guilty. 🙂

    This might interest you, N5, new to me but you may be familiar? The Minister you refer to:

    In December 2007, he was charged with corruptly receiving $60,000 from WorkCover Queensland director Harold Shand.

    Why Why Why?

  6. Why Why Why?

    Innocent until proven guilty. Certainly. Are you aware that the person in question blew the lid on Bond’s payment to Joh? Inside knowledge because he worked in the Bank that processed the payment? That his ‘political reward’ was a very, very safe seat?

    While it seems clear that he received payments (based on bank records) (and each one was just below the ‘disclosure level’) one has to wonder as to what the ‘mining magnate’ hoped to gain. The person in question was simply not influential in Cabinet.

    Nevertheless it will be a very interesting case.For Talbot, his ‘intentions’ will be crucial for him personally. Was it friendship? Was it buying influence? If the latter, I suspect he was profoundly misled. Certainly Bligh and Beattie will affirm that.

    As for Shand, I know of the charge but no detail of the case.

    I also note that the person will conduct his own defense. Says heaps.

  7. While we are on the subject TB, you would probably be aware that the’mining magnate’ was also making payments to the coach of the Broncos. These secret payments of six figures when disclosed was a significant reason for Bennett’s departure.,20797,23186054-10389,00.html?from=public_rss

    Disclosure: I received tickets for all the Bronco’s home games for a decade as well as invitations to the season launches and any number of lunches, ties, hats and the like. Never sure what I was supposed to deliver. Lol.

  8. Yes, yes , and yes these people destroy their own careers – for – greed.

    As for Joh I met him a couple of times – used to make me squirm.

    I recall the last time I saw him waiting at a hearing – he looked up at me and smiled – I just looked at him with utter contempt – GN (different politics) same mould, and yes, wonder what talbot “expected”?

  9. TB Queensland,

    “destroy their own careers – for – greed.”

    I think that it’s more complex than that. While ‘greed’ can and often does play a part, sometimes it’s about ‘power’, ‘influence’, ‘status’, self-concept’ etc; real or imagined. Lol.

    In joni’s example, it was about an ex-Minister who was perhaps reliving days of power he no longer had? Money might have been the overt value but was that the only motivation. We will probably never know.

    We see a similiar problem with retired footballers, tennis players and boxers to name but three. Loss of limelight, loss of power or influence can be a real problem for many.

    Human motivations can be many and varied. A fellow named Georg Simmel lives on because of his essay on The Philosophy of Money which is an interesting read as to how ‘money’ and ‘values’ interact.

  10. (Gives Joni a brown paper bag)
    Now this is how things are going to be from now on…

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